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let's bring in former ambassador mark ginsberg who knew ambassador stevens we know the intelligence community is very small, so we're sorry for your life. >> thank you. the fact of the matter is the foreign service and all of us who have served in the past in the diplomatic service and who knew chris from the time -- he was teaching english in morocco in the peace corp. when i was ambassador. he and i had been in contact because the national geographic society was signing a new agreement to do scientific exchange programs with the libyan government. he was really excited about that. and we had exchanged emails about how to begin facilitating the training of young libyans for the scientific exchange programs. he was someone who was everything that all of us ever hoped or aspired to be. either to work in the foreign service or be affiliated with one of the greatest groups of individuals that served this country abroad. >> ambassador, stay with us. we want to talk about that a little bit more. nbc chief white house correspondent chuck todd is in washington with us. chuck, a somber cere
. >> ambassador ginsberg, if we could look at the region broadly, a vexing question facing the united states right now is what's in the best interest of the u.s.? a sort of friendly cooperative dictator, though they may be brutally repressive to the people or a messy, uncertain democracy like in egypt and libya right now. >> the genie's out of the bottle in the middle east. the fact of the matter is every one of the countries going through a transition and it's going to take many acts to follow before we know what's going to happen, whether it's in egypt, syria, saudi arabia or iran. the problem is right now the united states standing in the region has deteriorated rapidly in the last couple of years under president obama. since his cairo speech. most unfortunate. i'm the last person to want to see that. i think the president had the best of intentions to try to rebuild ties with the muslim world but the high expectations of what to deliver versus the changes taking place have created a circumstance where there's great disappointment with the united states, whether it's by syrians or by egyptians
that a wonderful person, ginsberg, leaves the court. she's very much beloved in that court even by -- i learned if from your books how much they get along, she and scalia, for example. maybe he leaves. can a president of the center left like obama or a president who seems to be on the right right now like romney, can they make a 180 degree switcharoo. could they take the ginsberg seat and give it to the right? would it get past a simple majority? >> the fact is most supreme court nominations get through. robert bork didn't get through in 1987. harriet miers withdrew at the end of the president bush's term. by and large supreme court appointments get through, but we have not seen a liberal replace a conservative in a very long time, maybe 1993 when byron white was replaced by ruth ginsburg, but if, for example, the conservative -- one of the conservative justices leaves in a second obama term, that will be the world war 3 of all time because the conservative movement in this country has embraced their version of the constitution as a fundamental aspect of what they believe in. more than the demo
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